Austin Anderson, M.S., Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Student Highlight
Growing up in the small town of Kettle Falls, Washington, from a young age, complex equipment and heavy machineries fascinated me. Some of my favorite memories were spending time with my forester dad watching logging equipment take down massive trees with ease. I decided then that when I grew up, I wanted to harness the power of machines.
In high school, my school was fortunate enough to have a robotics team that designed and built robots for competition with other schools nationwide. This experience was my first exposure to engineering work and reiterated to me the wonders of technology, and ways we could use them to accomplish complex tasks. Although our team did not make it to the world championships, I discovered my passion for engineering.
When it came time to pick on a school to continue my education, I was torn between several different schools. Ultimately, I decided on the University of Idaho due to its prestigious reputation within the northwest. I was also the third generation of my family to attend school in Moscow.
As I progressed through my undergraduate education, I developed a strong interest in the thermal fluid sciences. My interest in these subjects was put to practical use when I received an internship working with natural gas and biomass electrical power plants.
Going into my senior year of school, I decided that I had plenty left in the tank when it came to academics, and therefore I began to pursue graduate education options. My fascination with sustainable technology led to my current thesis project, where I have been researching cold thermal energy storage as a means of reducing energy consumption and improving the efficiency of cooling systems. My work has focused on using software for modeling the University of Idaho district cooling system with the goal of optimizing its performance.
Deciding to get my master’s degree has been a challenging and rewarding experience. In this program I have already published a peer reviewed journal article and have two others submitted. As I progress in my career as an engineer, I plan to continue to pursue my passion for enhancing the efficiency of energy systems.
Article by Austin Anderson